Sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home, Allan Karlsson is waiting for a party he doesn't want to begin: his 100th birthday party. Escaping through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several deaths, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent but very human police. As his escapades unfold, Allan's earlier life is revealed, and we discover that he played a key role behind the scenes in some of the momentous events of the 20th century.
This ‘imaginative, laugh-out-loud bestseller’ (Daily Telegraph) has sold more than two million printed copies.
©2009 Jonas Jonasson (P)2012 Strathmore Publishing Ltd
“Like Forrest Gump, Allan is an innocent with the knack of being in the right place at the right time. He has had a hand in everything from the Russian revolution to Reagan's Star Wars. Like Allan, the plot is pleasingly nimble and the book's endearing charm offers a happy alternative to the more familiar Nordic noir.” (The Guardian)
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"Last of the Summer Wine meets Forest Gump"
No problem with Peter Kenny, but unlikely to try another Jonasson book.
You can tell that the writer wants us to find this 'delightfully whimsical' or 'whimsically profound' or something like that, but it drags like a lead plough - or two lead ploughs, since it switches between narratives. The Zelig/Gump stuff, where the protagonist pops up at key historical moments, isn't interesting or funny and just highlights the crass amorality of its Que Sera philosophy. It's telling that the other narrative, a stupid Last of the Summer Wine crime caper, although awful, actually comes as a relief from the interminable Gumping. Most aggravating of all though is the style. Instead of writing a funny story in the first place, the writer has tried to make his narrative funny by imposing a comic device - one comic device, all the way through. Everything is couched in a prissily affected ironic understatement. The narrator uses it continually and of course every character thinks and speaks like the narrator. I think Martin Amis said somewhere that style was morality. I didn't get it till now.
No problems with the narrator - good performance throughout, though the decision to represent Swedish accents with English ones was jarring, especially when other nations retain their accents.
Only too vividly can I imagine this happening.
"Not for me"
No, I failed to see what all the fuss is about. There were a few interesting passeges when we were told about various earlier episodes of his life but the current story didn't grip me nor did I find the characters believable or interesting. I don't like giving up on a book but I did with this one.
Probably not. I thought it would be in a similar vein to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time but unfortunately that wasn't the case.
I thought the narration was good.
I just couldn't click with the narrator I did try but by the time I've got to chapter 5 I just couldn't take anymore. I felt like the narrator sounded like a news reader and kept putting me of enjoying the book. The story its self is a funny one with lots of characters, I would of loved to have finished it off but couldn't.
"OK for a while then just got boring"
The story is fun for a while but then I really lost interest and just didnt care what happened to the characters. There is only so long you can suspend disbelief and this went on too long.
"Great and gripping"
Never judge a book by it title because this one is certainly worth a read
"Funny, easy listening with great characters"
I loved the audio edition, well read and accents fitted characters.
How the main characters history unfolded itself.
The 100 year old man !!
A brilliant creative book
"A nice story, a bit strange in the middle"
I bought the actual book of this story and had read about half of it. As I was going on holiday I downloaded the audio version. However when I got to chapter 7/8 there was a chunk missing. Characters just appeared from nowhere without any explanation, rhymn nor reason of how they got there. I rewound it three times and listened again, thinking I might have nodded off ( a thing I quite often do) but no, Benny, the Beauty and the elephant were all there. Finished listening and quite enjoyed it, but sorry Audible the book is so much better. Narrator excellent.
"Odd but funny"
No, it grew on me and by the end I found it very funny and would recommend it but I think if it had been a book rather than audio I might not have persisted long enough to really get it. So once was enough.
No not heard him before but I liked his reading a lot.
"Such an unusual story"
I found this to be a really interesting story. It is actually telling 2 parallel stories of the same mans life and they do begin to intertwine. I would read it again as I am sure I have missed elements.
The characters feel real within this story and you do begin to like them all and physically have to laugh out loud at their adventures.
Peter Kenny's voice is very pleasant to listen to some of the accents were very dodgy but this added to the quirkiness of the tale.
"An Intriguing Read"
I would definately try another by this author
the100 year old man
the narration brought the characters into a colourful and vivid reality
the twists and turns of the present and stories from the past intermingle in the vein of a modern Baron Munchousen
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